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Three Secrets to Avoid Drowning When Drinking From a Fire Hose

In 2010, I worked with a company that used a popular video called Did You Know? to help its employees understand the pace of change.  Some of the facts from that video included…

  • If MySpace were a country, it would be the 5th-largest in the world (between Indonesia and Brazil)

  • There are 31 Billion searches on Google every month.

  • Today, the number of text messages sent and received everyday, exceeds the total population of the planet.

  • By 2013, a supercomputer will be built that exceeds the computational capabilities of the human brain.

A 2021 version of the same facts would read:

  • MySpace?

  • There are more than 208 Billion searches on Google every month.

  • Today, the number of text messages sent and received everyday in the United States, is 3 times the total population of the planet.

  • As of 2018, a supercomputer can mimic a mouse brain but not a human one.

If the original statistics were shocking, how much crazier are the 2021 versions?

These numbers are a great example of a quote I recently read:

The pace of change has never been this fast, yet it will never be this slow again.  Justin Trudeau, Canadian Prime Minister

That is a sobering reality about the future when many of us already feel like we’re drinking from a fire hose today!

But wait, there is hope! Here are a few strategies for ‘firehose drinking’:

  • First, remember that no one is immune from the effects of change. Even if they are dealing with different changes, everyone around you is dealing with the same pace of change.

  • Take some advice from Benjamin Franklin: “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today.” It’s not going to get any better next week or next month so do it now!

  • Finally, if you know the pace is rapid and accelerating, don’t hesitate to take the occasional step off the treadmill to catch your breath. Thousands of people have completed marathons using the Run Walk Run method…and finishing is what counts!

Pro Tip: When you want to introduce a change, take a few minutes to decide if you really need to introduce another drop into the the hose. Is there something else that can be finished first? There’s a limit to how much change any person (or organization) can take!

The ball is in your court! Which strategy will you use to deal with the pace of change today?

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